The National Safety Council has declared June “Home Safety Month” and it’s a great time to think about things you can do to keep yourself safe from indoor air and water pollution, and injury due to overconfidence in your do-it-yourself abilities.
Here are a few things to put on your “honeydo” list:
Keep your indoor air quality up to par by:
- changing air filters regularly.
- vacuuming the coils on your, furnace, refrigerator, and other appliances to reduce particulate matter in the air and keep them running efficiently.
- cleaning your humidifier and/or dehumidifier to eliminate potential mold and moisture in the air.
- ensuring all air vents, interior and exterior, are free of dust and debris.
- getting a professional assessment of your air quality needs, and then installing an air cleaner, UV germicidal lamp, or air sterilizer as recommended.
- ensuring that the air in your garage, along with its chemical and exhaust fumes, ventilates to the outdoors instead of into the house.
- cleaning all ceiling fans so they don’t circulate dust and particulate matter throughout the house.
- checking and changeing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; dust thoroughly around the entire unit so the sensors are unobstructed.
Know your limits, DIY-wise:
- Are you a professional plumber? If not, don’t tackle any projects larger than changing a faucet or showerhead. Calling a plumber to do the job correctly the first time is significantly less expensive than calling a professional to do the job correctly and fix the damage you caused.
- Are you a licensed electrician? Changing a light switch or installing a ceiling fan are within the realm of many of us, as long as we take the proper precautions. Any other task is best left to a professional to avoid the very real chance of injury and serious damage to your home.
- Don’t move, repair, or replace any gas appliance without a professional. Gas lines are dangerous, gas leaks are difficult to detect, and carbon monoxide poisoning due to improperly vented gas appliances kills more than 400 people a year.
- Before you rent or buy a major power tool, be sure you know how to use it, or are under the guidance of someone who does. A welder is not a toy.
- If the insulation in your home was installed prior to 1989, it may contain toxic asbestos. Call a professional if you plan on removing it or even if you only plan on adding insulation over the top.
- Water is required by all living things; unfortunately it’s not always as clean as it should be. Water that leaves a treatment facility meets Safe Drinking Water Act standards. By the time it reaches your home, however, it’s probably gone through miles of pipes, a water tower, and your home’s plumbing. That’s where water quality deteriorates. What can you do to get clean water?
Have a sunny, and safe, summer!
National Safety Council